Tony: In today’s podcast we’re announcing that we’re launching an investment round. The private ‘closed’ round will start in just three days time, on Thursday the 8th of September, and will only be open to our mailing list. To get onto that just pop along to www.thomasclipper.com/invest - and do share that link with anyone you think might be interested in investing. If you do refer somebody to the campaign that ends up investing we’d also like to thank you with a small reward - more on that shortly as we get into the detail of the campaign, but that link again is www.thomasclipper.com/invest. Or you can just pop along to the website and select ‘invest’ from the top menu.
For our investment we’ve chosen to partner with with the professionals at Seedrs, a crowdfunding for equity platform that many of you may well already be aware of.
Matt: If you’ve not heard of Seedrs, never fear! We’ll explain all shortly.
Tony: First, we’ve been asking you a lot of questions recently. Now it’s your to ask us some back. We want you to get on Twitter (@thomasclipper) search Thomas Clipper on Facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to ask any questions you might have about our plans for the future, what equity investment means, or anything else.
Matt: Maybe you want to know what makes Seedrs different from Kickstarter or other crowdfunding?
Tony: Maybe you want to know when we’re launching the campaign?
Matt: From outside of the UK? Perhaps you want to know if you can still invest?
Tony: Spoiler alert: you can. Actually, don’t ask us any of those questions - we’re going to answer them later in this podcast. But that’s the sort of thing we’re looking for!
Matt: So that’s our big ask for today: let us know the questions you’d like answered. Let us know what you’re interested in hearing from us. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com/
Tony: And later this week, just before we launch our campaign, we’ll be recording a new podcast answering as many as we can.
Matt: So next up we’re going to talk a little bit about our new crowdfunding campaign, why we’re launching it now and how it’s different from Kickstarter.
Tony: We’ll also be asking a big question to you guys. And that question is, as you might have guessed: will you invest in us?
Matt: Before you can answer that of course, we should talk a bit about why we think Thomas Clipper needs investment to grow.
Tony: We’ve had an amazing first 20 months at Thomas Clipper; three successful Kickstarter campaigns, 9 fantastic products, sold to 35 countries worldwide, brilliant coverage in GQ, Wallpaper Magazine, ShortList and many others, stocked in Fortnum & Mason, and most important of all, delighted customers.
Matt: But now we’re at an inflection point. We’ve achieved all of this with no outside equity investment. We only had our own hard work and of course our fantastic team of makers and craftsmen and women. But we know that to really grow Thomas Clipper, we need investment to do three things. Tony...
Tony: Those three things are First, Invest in marketing, to spread the word of Thomas Clipper internationally so more people can benefit from the products you love; Second, Create more brilliant products which make those essential rituals of life better - and we’re already well down the way with prototypes for moisturisers, cologne and British artisanal gins; and 3. Buy in bigger quantities to take advantage of economies of scale.
Matt: Now, most young companies will look to just a few business angels or institutional investors for money, but we’re different: we value the community - that’s you - that helps to make Thomas Clipper what it is. We ask you what products to make, we ask you what you like and don’t like, we ask you, in essence, how we develop the company. We call this “community driven luxury” and it’s what we’re applying for our investment strategy: we want to bring you into the Thomas Clipper community even more by owning part of the company. Anyone can invest - so long as you understand the risks associated with investment, which in a nutshell are that you could lose your investment, though of course we hope that won’t be the case. And we want as many people as possible to join us in this journey and invest in us.
Tony: Exactly. Now we’ve chosen the fantastic crowdfunding platform Seedrs as our vehicle for raising investment.
Matt: Seedrs is similar to Kickstarter because anyone can get involved. You just need to go to www.seedrs.com, answer some helpful questions to ensure you understand the risks with investing, and then you are ready to go.
Tony: Anyone in Britain, the EU, the EEA and Switzerland can invest via Seedrs, but if you’re from outside those countries you can invest too - just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a mirrored agreement outside the platform.
Matt: So that international appeal and ease of being a part of the process is what makes Seedrs so attractive, and so similar to Kickstarter. But what makes it different is that you’re not buying a brilliant razor or shaving set or leather wash bag.
Tony: Instead you will get equity in return for your investment. This means that you will own a part of Thomas Clipper, which we hope as we grow will be worth more and you will be able to get a return on this in the future.
As well as equity, we’re also offering investors 20% off everything on thomasclipper.com for 12 months after the campaign is funded. Not only that but we’re offering the same discount to anyone who refers a new investor to the campaign, so get sharing the link - www.thomasclipper.com/invest.
But discounts aside, the real reason to invest is of course to gain a share in the business. So you might ask, what shape is the business in? Why should you invest? Well in terms of the details of the financials, we have set a pre-money valuation for the company of 850,000. We are forecasting potential returns on the value of an investment of between 13 - 6 fold within 5 years. And for British investors who can take advantage of the fantastic Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme which means you can get up to 50% income take relief off your investment, this means your return could be as high as 20-fold.
Matt: Seedrs explains a lot more about the SEIS scheme as it’s known and the risks in investing in young companies, but we do want to stress: SEIS or otherwise there are risks with investing in shares; there are no guarantees of success and if things go wrong you may not get your money back.
Tony: Of course, we think that our track record to date gives confidence this won’t happen or we wouldn’t be raising. But we should stress that this is no guarantee of what may happen in the future. As a rule of thumb you should only invest what you’re prepared to lose. Of course, if you want more details on our modelling forecasts or numbers just drop us a note on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt: So, when are we going to launch, I hear you ask. We’ll launch privately to start with, just for you lot. This is called a closed launch in Seedrs language. It’s all happening next week on Thursday 8th September.
Tony: We’ll stay private for two weeks until Thursday 22nd September, when we’ll be launching the campaign to the public. It would be fantastic if you could be one of the first people to back in the closed launch. It’s particularly important for two reasons. First off it means that you’re guaranteed a share of the business if we make our goal, so you don’t miss out.
Matt: But second, it’s really important on Seedrs that when we go live we’ve got a great group of people backing us. There are no millionaire uncles or friends with lottery winnings in the wings to give us a nice big boost on day one. The first person backing us could really be you. So spread the word, get ready to back and thank you in advance for anything you can do to help make our first round of investment a success.
Tony: So that’s all for now. Mark this Thursday, the 8th of September, in your calendar. And as we asked at the top of the podcast, please send either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org your questions about our plans; we’ll answer as many as we can on our podcast just before we launch next week.
Matt: Right, well that’s all for now.
Tony: Seedrs crowdfunding launch this week, spread the word!
Matt: And we’re very much looking forward to that and hearing from you all in the coming days.
Tony: Until then, I’ve been Tony.
Matt: and I’ve been Matt. Speak soon!